Anyone out there?
I wrote a piece a few weeks ago called "The Wolf of Conditional Love," giving my slant on an aspect of parenting. I borrowed the title phrase from a David Brooks column of the same day, with which I took modest issue. This morning I saw a tweet in which both my piece and Mr. Brooks' were listed as among the top five parenting advice blogs of the week.
If you'd had a brain scan of my delight, you'd have thought I won the Pulitzer Prize.
I started writing about my experiences with my children as soon as they were all gone, when the last one left for college. Is that ironic, or is it just the way my writing mind works? Putting my thoughts, and feelings, on paper helps me sort them, make sense of them. In the case of some feelings, it may be the only way I can consciously access them. And the process seems to work best with distance. My understanding of what is going on inside me is like cask of wine that should not be opened before it has aged. Until then it's just sweet grape juice.
I've branched out from my children to the world I want for them, which is my excuse to write about politics and social issues. As with my my feelings about being a father, sometimes I'm not that certain what I think about an issue until I write about it. Intuition and bias are vague and sloppy things. Reason is the order that writing imposes on them.
My blog has been for me. It has helped me learn about myself and understand others better. It has helped me grow. But I would be a liar if I didn't admit I want to reach others. Touch them. Persuade them. It's vanity, I know, but there you have it. It's more or less what we do as a species. Communicate. Understand. Persuade.
Who knows what most readers think of what I write. I get comments of support now and then, but mainly from people I know. I wonder sometimes if anyone else is paying much attention. And then, suddenly I've written a piece someone puts in a top-five list. Someone I don't know.
To paraphrase Miss Marion, the librarian from The Music Man: "Thank you, my someone."